Moving to the Sacramento Area

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Questions & Advice about Sacramento Related Pages

2009 - 2014 Discussions

Sacramento neighborhoods and schools?

Nov 2013

Due to an upcoming job change, our family of four is considering a move from the Bay Area to the Sacramento area. While we have done a little research on climate, crime and cost of living, I would love to get firsthand recommendations for good neighborhoods and school districts for families with young kids. We are open to exploring both the city and surrounding areas like Davis and Roseville. Any perspective you can share would be much appreciated! Thanks. Thinking about a Move

My parents grew up in Clarksburg which is 10 miles south of Sacramento on the Sacramento River. It's a really small town, but it has a charter school, Delta Elementary Charter School (formerly Clarksburg Elementary) that attracts kids locally and from West Sacramento. My cousin's daughter goes there and my uncle was involved in opening the charter school (he was principal of Clarksburg Elementary for many years). Anyway, Clarksburg is dinky, but it's a nice community. If the idea of a small town is appealing, you should look into it. Carrie
Hi there, We have been in the Rocklin area for the past 6 years, and have really enjoyed it. It is a safe community and has tons of activities for families with small children. The elementary schools here are great. While I can't speak to all of them, my children currently attend Breen, and we have been very happy there. I know families with children at Sierra, Valley View and Rock Creek and they are all very pleased with their elementary experiences as well. One thing I would say, is that be prepared for the extreme heat here in the summertime. Many homes up here have a pool, and if you can find one, I would definitely recommend it. Most kids live in the water during the summer months here. We are moving down to the Bay Area within the next few months, and we will certainly miss our community up here. Good luck with your move! Happy in Rocklin
June 2013

Re: Moving 2-3hrs outside the Bay Area
The quaint town of Fair Oaks (outside of Sacramento, next to Folsom) might be a place you'd really like. We lived there for a few years and LOVED it. There's no beach nearby, but there's Folsom Lake (with a 'beachy' feel, the Sacramento River flows through the town (with safe bike trails everywhere) and you'd be close to the Yuba River, an hours drive to snow in the winter, there's a salmon hatchery/festival every year, wonderful small zoo in Folsom, and a yearly rodeo nearby-lots for kids/families to do. It's a gorgeous little 'hippyish' town with roosters/chickens that roam around the downtown and there's even a fantastic vegetarian cafe. The houses are on huge lots and you're surrounded by oak woodlands and wildlife. It's about an hour and a half to the Bay Area and 10 minutes to Sacramento. It does get very hot in the summer (which was hard for me) but the autumn/winter were particularly stunning with the fall colors all around. The people were INCREDIBLY friendly and welcoming (which was a bit of a culture shock initially for a Bay Arean) lisa

Moving to Sacramento with Kids

April 2012

i've a few friends who've moved to Sac or have lived there & some really like it. one in particular misses living in Sac even though she is here in the EB. This really surprised me. One friend in particular keeps telling me how great Sac is. Anyway here is situation: we bought a house & were planning to be in for about 5 years. we've one little girl who is about 2 and are expecting another kid at the end of the year. our home has no outdoor space and the near by parks are terrible, all outings require driving. Plus the local school is not great. Point is we have to move...but where? my husband works from home most of the time or travels to meetings, where i'm a SAHM. my question is anyone live in Sac with kids have any info on what it is like there for the kids. Activities, parks, SAHMs, schools. How liberal is it? are there better neighborhoods then others for walkability and liberalness? Overall culture out there. Anything else that maybe helpful. thanks so much overwhelmed

Moved to the EB from Sacramento before we had children and even though I miss Sacramento I would not move back there. My husband and I have discussed moving back however after speaking with friends who live there we found that their school situation is just as bad as it is here! My best friend lives in Davis and her experience has been great. The public schools are awesome (there are several schools which are Spanish Immersion and perform very very well). Davis is very liberal, walkable, and friendly. It close enough to Sacramento, Tahoe and San Francisco! If my husbands job was not in San Francisco, I would move to Davis! Pulling for Davis
Have you ever consider Benicia??? I grew up in Sacramento actaully Elk Grove before all those houses were built. Antioch reminds me of Elk Grove now. I am sure things have changes since I left permanently in 1996 but Sacramento has so many suburbs so there maybe a neighborhood that is similar to Berkeley? I love the East Bay especially Berkeley. We actaully have a daughter who goes to a school in North Berkeley so I drive down everyday. Benicia is a very sleepy town with a little bid of Santa Cruz feel to it. If I need Berkeley or SF fix, we just drive down and can be on the Bay Bridge in 20mins with no traffic. We are also less than 20mins away from Napa. You may want to check it out. If you have any question, you can email me as well. Happy in Benicia

Moving to Sacramento for a year

Jan 2011

We're planning to move to Sacramento for one year (July 2011/12) while my husband is in a fellowship at UC Davis Medical Center. We've explored some of the neighborhoods and like East Sac, Curtis Park, and parts of the neighborhood near the hospital. Our daughter will be two years old. I would love hear if BPN members have any experience there and might make suggestions regarding the following (or anything else): neighborhoods to live in, housing sources (besidesCraigslist - house exchange/sitting), preschools/daycare, playgroups, activities for toddlers, great playgrounds
Thank you! Portia

There are amazing parks EVERYWHERE in Sacramento. Seriously, when I visit my folks I am always blown away by the huge parks at every turn. Parks that here would have tons of kids all over it are relatively uncrowded because there are just so many. Just for example, william land park is double the size of frog park and also has a pond with geese to feed. But seriously, wherever you are there will be a neighborhood park within walking distance that is pretty cool. Good luck with your move! Meredith
Hello, I grew up in Sacramento and my parents still live there. As someone else posted, there are lots of parks, but as a visitor with small children now, I actually found that a hinderance. So many people have big backyards and swimming pools, that parks aren't the central neighborhood meeting places that they are in Berkeley. I grew up in a suburban part (and had to drive everywhere), but some friends who moved back live in the 40's and near UCD Medical Center which has walkable neighborhoods. One fantastic kid place I discovered- Art Beast ( which is downtown. On the other end of town, Sunflower Restaurant ( is a funky, veggie food shop. You can eat in the park next door and let the kids run around. ALso for good salads, there is a Pluto's both in Davis and in Arden Fair Mall (near the movie theater). HOpe you enjoy Sacramento! Born and raised in Sac

What's it like to live in Sacramento?

June 2010

My husband and I are finally realizing that in order to give our son everything we want to, and to live in a house larger than two bedrooms but not have to commute 1.5 hours each way, we are going to have to leave the Bay Area. We love it here - love the people, the food, the weather, all the great things for kids. But we just can't afford it.

In looking around, we have started talking about the Sacramento area. It seems to have some jobs in both of our fields, the cost of living is obviously much more manageable, and it would let us stay close to all of our friends and family here. Does anyone have any thoughts on what it is like to live up there? Are there good activities for kids? Is it unbearably conservative (or hot)? (We moved here from the South to avoid both of those issues). Is there anywhere decent to eat or is Applebee's fine dining? Any other areas we should check out? Thanks for any input and advice! Broke Mom

I grew up in Sacramento and it's not at all bad. Great for families -- tons of activities. The summers are hot, but that can be nice, especially the warm evenings. There's tremendous diversity, and not too conservative, especially in the areas closer to midtown. Great neighborhoods are land park, Curtis park, midtown. I live in Berkeley now and love it, but I appreciate having grown up in Sacramento! With 2 kids now, I miss being able to gonfor bike rides in flat terrain. We enjoy visiting grandparents there now, and going swimming and biking in the summer. Go for it! Jen
just about all my in-laws live in the sac valley area, so we have to visit several times a year. yes, it's more conservative and not as racially diverse - my half-white niece was rejected by the local girl scout troop. it was pretty obvious that race was the issue if you just looked. but the family is not getting lynched, and my niece is thriving in her school.

it's very suburban, but more shocking factor might be the weather which can get extremely hot in the summer. and while the area is not known for its cuisines, there are plenty of good restaurants of various ethnic cuisines. depending on the neighborhood, it is very, very kid-friendly - i think folsom even has a really good high school, thanks to intel's presence. carmichael is right next to sacto which has more stuff, so that's another option.

it's a sprawling suburb, and i personally wouldn't live there if it weren't for financial reasons. despite seeing too many mccain/palin posters along the freeway as i drove further east, there are many worse, more conservative places in this country. besides, i'm sure you'll be able to find like-minded people there - fewer than half of my in-laws are conservatives. - sacto visitor

I grew up in Sacramento and visit often because my parents and sister live there. I think it's a great place to grow up, for all the reason people move to suburbs: cheaper, easier, bigger house, big yard. I think Sacramento proper is extremely diverse (I think it was listed somewhere as most diverse city); outlying suburbs like Folsom, El Dorado Hills, etc are not diverse, but extremely kid friendly. My sister lives in El Dorado Hills and my son loves visiting because they have a gigantic yard and pool and long driveway that he can ride his scooter down. There are tons of little playgrounds and parks nearby too. My parents live in South Sacramento, not far from downtown. I love Midtown and have often considered moving there. It's very walkable, lots of great Victorian and Craftsman houses, good coffee places, clothing boutiques, decent & diverse restaurants. Close by (and nicer, with gorgeous houses) are Land Park and East Sacramento, specifically the 'Fabulous 40's.' I like Sacramento's hot weather, too. Old Sacramento also has a train museum that my son LOVES. I think it's a good choice; you can also check out Davis. Good luck! Former Sacramentan

Just wanted to point out some of the great things about Sacramento. I noticed one commenter had pretty negative things to say.

I love Sacramento. I lived there for many years and my extended family is there now. We are a very multi-racial family with asian, black and a few others thrown into the mix and have never had any problems in Sac. Oddly enough the only racism my family has experienced had been in SF.

My husband (Chinese) grew up with this image of Sac as a 'staunchly conservative town full of hicks' but he has since realized how wrong that is. And yes, we actually met and fell in love there. :)

I would move back in a second but my Oakland-raised hubby can't deal with heat above 80 degrees. :) So, if you do move consider air conditioning a must have.

Good luck! Sactown ;)

Neighborhoods in Sacramento

April 2010

My husband's dream job has been offered to him - in downtown Sacto (govt job.) Davis feels like a better value fit for us, but I'm wondering about neighborhoods in Sacramento that we should consider? kinda sad to leave Bay Area

You absolutely must check out East Sacramento. I grew up in East Sac (in the 'fabulous '40's'), and it is everything I could have ever wanted in a neighborhood. It's so beautiful - all houses built in the 1930's with big trees. I so wish I could move back. Have fun house shopping! Sarah
I lived in Sacto in the '90s (also govt job). I was single then, but I really liked it. Real seasons, slower pace of life, can bike everywhere, and I made very good liberal- minded friends. Sacto has gotten even better since then, good restaurants, more nightlife, art and theatre. I go back regularly to see my friends. If I got a job there now, I would probably choose Sacto over Davis. I don't know about the school districts, but for neighborhoods I'd choose Curtis Park, then maybe Land Park. These are close to downtown and public transit. Davis has great schools, but it is very homogeneous. Maybe I'm just a city gal. Sacto Fan
If what you will miss about the Bay Area is the old-fashioned housing stock, mature trees and walking to coffee (and possibly work), then the City of Sacramento neighborhoods of East Sacramento, Land Park and Curtis Park should be your list. If you are used to the crime and grunge of Oakland, then you can also include Oak Park and Tahoe Park. Lovers of the Bay Area lifestyle should probably not bother with West Sac or Natomas (although, if you always wanted a brand-new house, those are the places. However, Natomas is not as close to downtown as people lead you to believe).

Davis has predominantly 1970's-80's ranch style houses, as well as awesome parents, children, schools, and recreation. And those are the center of most folk's universe. It has a bit of an isolated island feel - but many people love the island and commute to downtown Sac. If you are renting, know that Davis houses tend to come up in cycles to coincide with the school year (either June or August starts), but the listings can come up several months prior.

Good luck - it's very much a personal choice. Bay Area Bungalope

Moving to Sacramento this summer

May 2009

Hi, we are moving this summer to Sacramento, and I was wondering if there is something like parents list there? Also, what are fun things to do with kids; baby,5,7 yrs old? What do you love about Sac. What do you hate, other than the heat? Any advice for transition..This is the first big move with kids. Thanks miss U all! liza

I grew up in West Sacramento. Besides the heat, and dreary winter fog, Sacramento's no worse than most urban areas. The Capitol and surrounding park are great. The older part of Sacramento has lots of trees (shade is very welcome in summer!), small restaurants, shops. Old Town, by the river, is a great tourist trap. The zoo, and William Land Park, both near the river on the south side of town, are or were good kid places. You're closer to Yosemite and Tahoe than in the Bay Area. And it's not the cultural wasteland that I imagined it to be in the 60's! Nils
My kids were both born in Sac'to -- I moved to the East Bay with them when they were ages 7 and 5. Happy as I am to be here, Sacramento is a great town for families with kids. Fun things: lots of great playgrounds, try the one in McKinley Park (which is also right by a public library with a great kids section); in Land Park there's the zoo, Fairytale Town (kind of like Fairyland in Oakland), and something called ''Funderland'' which is a teeny amusement park with nothing but kiddy rides. Lots of public pools; my kids took swim lessons through the parks department.

In the summer, there are lots of family-friendly free outdoor music events in parks around the city. These were very idyllic for me -- I could sit and listen with food and drink and my kids would run around with other kids; sometimes we would dance together.

Where I lived, in the River Park neighborhood (out by Sac State) the kids could go out and play with other kids on the block, in and out of everyone's backyards. Of course, there's also the usual array of organized kid activities: we did soccer, gymnastics, and ballet (at various times). Oh, and we used to go to the state fair every year.

Don't know of a list like this one, but there may be one by now. The preschool my kids attended (Hand in Hand -- it's fantastic, ages 2-5) was a great resource for meeting other parents and just generally getting help with parenting stuff.


2004 - 2008 Discussions

Moving to Roseville

July 2008

We have been presented with the opportunity to move to Roseville, CA, north of Sacramento. Looking for info on neighborhoods, schools, general feel of the area. Thank you.

You don't say your children's ages, but there is an amazing, fantastic preschool in Roseville directed by Bev Bos, a world renowned early childhood educator. Check out the website: If your children are preschool aged, you would be incredibly lucky to have them go to school there!

Parents network in Sacramento?

Oct 2005

I've just recently moved to Sacramento from the Bay. I am single mom of a 9 year old boy and have found BPN invaluable!!! Does anyone know of anything similar in Sacramento? Letitia

I grew up in Sacramento, and still visit often. I just discovered the Mothers Support Network. I don't know if they have an email list, but they do have a newsletter, used clothing store, music classes, playgroups, workshops, etc. Most of the stuff appears to be for younger kids (as mine are), but I bet they would know about stuff for parents and older kids. The website is Anita

Moving to Sacramento - natural asbestos in the area?

July 2005

My partner and I are transferring to Sacramento for work and are looking at outlying areas to move. I've come across various articles about NOA (Naturally Occurring Asbestos) that has recently come to light in the Folsom/El Dorado Hills areas. From my research thus far, the asbestos is natural to the area and lies deep in the serpentine rock that makes up the foothills. The rock itself isn't dangerous just the dust when it is broken up during construction or used as gravel. The EPA is raising red flags but can't give any comparison data or prognosis. The locals and real estate professionals (of course) don't seem to think it is an issue and can be easily mitigated by dust management. Does anyone have any feedback about NOA? Or input from friends/family in the area? Thank you. Anon

I googled the topic and came up with some websites:
which tend to indicate it's a known problem, but that the verdict is out on how agencies and localities are going to deal with it. It sounds like you may want to be picky about where you settle, at the very least. Here is a map: Nils
Hi- I am from Folsom, down the road so to speak from the area most in the ''hot zone'' for NOA. And I must say I would think twice about living up in El Dorado Hills at this point. Check the ''Sacramento Bee'' and their archives and you'll see study after study suggesting that even a day at the park or running the bases at a softball game will increase your chances of cancer. Personally, I have enough going on in my world now that I don't want to worry if going for a walk in the park is going to increase my risk. Sure there are things people do everyday that increase our risks of getting this or that, but why take the chance if you don't have to?

Check out this recent article highlighting UC Davis research:

And also the press release from UCD Med Center: Good luck left the foothills

2003 & Earlier

Thinking about moving to Roseville

June 2003

We are thinking of moving up to Roseville from the Bay Area as my husbands ex has moved his son up there. We don't have to move but I was wondering if there is anyone who can say the good and bad things about it, as I know nothing about the area, besides a nicer, bigger house, and it's very hot, too hot?? I have a 5 month old baby and was wondering if there was anything I could join up there to meet mums like me. Paula

We will be relocating from Berkeley since have a house in Roseville that will be completed in August. After quite a bit of searching for affordable housing in a ''good'' area we decided to settle there. At this time of year it is hot, over a 100 some days and in the winter the temps are cooler than the bay area. What DH and I especially liked was that there was a ''there there''. If you don't mind big box stores, they are all in the area or will be built shortly. Many new homes and young families are there too. NEC, HP and Oracle have campuses in Rocklin/Roseville area and these companies have plans to expand their campuses which means increase in jobs and population.

You may also want to check out the group sacramentomoms at Yahoogroups. It's a list similar to this one but much smaller in membership. I've been able to get recommendations about preschools and things there. They might be able to answer more questions you may have or you're welcome to email me. cjc

I'm from Citrus Heights which is the town right next to Roseville, CA. I am very familiar with Roseville and have seen it grow immensely. I think it's a good move for a growing family, very affordable and very family-oriented. They have an excellent school district as well. I'm not sure of any parents groups but you can contact me off loop and I will contact friends of mine that are living there and are stay-at-home moms. lenamari

Sacramento communities with trees and good schools

January 2003

Hello - We are considering relocating to Sacramento/El Dorado Hills area, however, we know nothing about the area. We would like to buy a house in a ''nice'' area with excellent schools and lots of trees and outdoor activities. Can anybody recommend cities or communities around Sacramento that might fit the bill? Where are the good places to live up there? Any other information on the area would also be appreciated. We have two kids under the age of two. thanks!

I lived and worked in the Sac area for many years. I love Sac and would move back in a minute if I could.

Here are my four suggestions:

1. Arden Park Area - My sister and her family live there. It is bounded by Arden Way, Watt, Fair Oaks, and Eastern Ave. The public school there is very highly rated (MarieMont). There are also excellent private schools nearby.

2. If you like a more urban environment try mid-town sac. It's the area surrounding 21st and L street.

3. Another great area is the ''Fab 40's.'' This is around L and the 40th to 50th area. Old cute houses and some old, big, beautiful houses.

4. I would not recommend El Dorado Hills even tho the houses are new and big, you are basically out in the middle of nowhere. Driving into Sac in the morning from that area can easily take an hour or more, because the traffic is horrible. Also, in the midtown and fab 40's you are close to UC Davis Med Center, which is a wonderful resource. Hope this helps. Julie

I've heard many good things about Elk Grove. Tunisha
I've known and currently know several people who have or still live in the Sacramento area. In their and my humble opinions, Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn and Granite Bay are all nice. They're all to the East of Sacramento, Auburn is even getting into the foothills. My in-laws used to and a best friend's in- laws currently live in Roseville and all agree it is one of the better cities in the Sacramento area to live in. There even happens to be some great new shopping opening up in Eastern Roseville, near Rocklin. And when we were out there last, it looked like there were some new homes being built in the area.

We've also considered moving to the Sacramento area, so I've done a bit of research into where we'd like to live if we did.

The City of Roseville website is at

And Yahoo's Sacramento Metro info is at:

I find a lot of good info from Yahoo Locals.

Hope this helps! Jen